The aftermath of Scott Brown’s historical win last week, when he was voted to fill "The People’s Seat" in Massachusetts, is quite fascinating. Pundits and politicians have been scrambling and speculating about why a predominately liberal state would elect a Republican to the Senate. Those on the right are taking a victory lap and may be seeking advice from Brown, while a handful of Democrats are doing some soul searching. Senator Evan Bayh sees it as a wake-up call and Senator Joe Lieberman urges the Democratic party to move more toward the center. Then there is Governor Howard Dean.
As the news broke over this election, Rachel Maddow interviewed Dean. His analysis included blaming Bush for the Democrat's loss and, a few breaths later, affirming, "People who blame others are losers." In an awkward and spirited exchange between, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Dean over Brown's victory and the future of the Democrats' health care reform bill, Dean came up with some interesting conclusions. "Yesterday, the problem was that people wanted more," stated Dean. Matthews pointed out the differences between the two candidates: Martha Coakley, who is very progressive and in favor of a public option versus Brown, who said that he would "kill the bill." Asked Matthews, "Why didn't they vote for the candidate for the public option?" Dean's response? "They want real change"!
Let me see if I have this straight. In essence, what Dean is saying is that the Independents and Democrats who voted for Brown wanted the public option in the health care bill, so they voted for the candidate who campaigned as "Mr. Forty-One; the vote to filibuster." Were the voters sending smoke signals or is Brown secretly a progressive, masquerading as a conservative?
While Dean continues his delusional interpretation of the Massachusetts Senate election outcome, many have turned to second-guessing the mood of the country, including President Obama. Why are the people "angry" and "frustrated?"
Let's take a look at what transpired during the past year: bank bailouts, the GM takeover, and the passing of the February 2009 $787 billion stimulus package, which was marketed with the assurance of economic recovery and the creation of jobs, yet our economy is still in the dumps and unemployment has risen to 10%. Okay, so Obama inherited an economic mess, but what about tone and direction?
Elitism and Arrogance
The elitist mentality of the White House staff and amongst the Democrats is palpable; they think that their skills, abilities or wisdom render them fit to govern, without full consideration of what the people want, their arrogance has been demonstrated time and time again. All criticism has been met with attempts to dismiss, discredit, and demonize, and an entire news network was rebuked. Democrats and the left-wing media have talked down to the people, labeling us with everything from stupid to angry mobs and Astroturf, from un-American to racists, and our own president has mocked us.
Broken Political Promises
Every political campaign comes with promises of a better, cleaner, and more noble government, with the declaration that they will represent "the will of the people." Obama arrived on the political stage with his speeches about "hope and change," and most likely, good intentions. He was clear and confident that he was going to be the one to usher in bipartisanship and government transparency –– a message that resonated with the majority of American voters.
Candidate Obama promised to veto any bill with earmarks, yet the amount of pork in the bills passed by Congress last year would give the healthiest American athlete an immediate heart attack. The Democrats' widely unpopular and massive health care bill is a key example of how a multitude of promises were broken. Starting with the fact that Republicans were shut out of the process and despite C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb's letters to leaders in Congress, urging them to open up the last leg of health care reform negotiations to the public––access thus far has been denied and the people left in the dark.
The most angering aspect is in the process: it reeks of corruption. What is transparent is that, instead of taking a bipartisan approach and listening to the American people, President Obama, Senator Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have chosen to deliberate behind closed doors, using bribes such as the $300 million "Louisiana Purchase," the "Cornhusker Kickback" ($45 billion for the first decade), and more. To add insult to injury, last week Obama made a back-room deal with the unions. According to The Washington Post, this deal "would exempt union members from a proposed surtax on expensive insurance plans (so-called Cadillac plans) until 2018, five years after the legislation would take effect." It seems that Obama's resolve to take on special-interest groups and their perverting influence on the entire legislative process only applies to the ones he is not connected to. Nevertheless, Governor Dean may be right from one perspective: the legislative process under this administration may be politics as usual, and Americans want real change –– we need more than health care reform, we need "sausage making reform."
Expansion of Government
President Obama came out fast and furiously, expanding his executive power by appointing a record number of "czars" and filling other key positions of influence in the White House with a coterie of radicals, socialists and socialist sympathizers.
I am not ready to echo Glenn Beck's accusations of conspiracy in this area. However, I will say that since Obama's agenda is a moving target and remains a mystery, it does lead many Americans to pause and wonder. What we do know is that this administration is comfortable with demonizing success, yet they want to use the rich to pay for all of their government programs and have been quoted as saying that "redistribution of wealth," is a good thing.
Out of Control Debt
When President George Bush took office, the national debt was $5.73 trillion. When he left, it was $10.7 trillion. That is a difference of $4.97 trillion in eight years. A year ago our national debt was $10.7 trillion and now it is at $12.3 trillion and rising. So what is driving Obama’s unprecedented massive deficits? The answer lies in analyzing the nonpartisan details.
Back in December, Congress raised the debt ceiling by $290 billion and this past week the Democrats opened a debate to push for the ceiling to be raised by $1.9 trillion, so they can borrow and spend more money.
Many Americans are disturbed and frightened by the fact that legislation like ObamaCare, cap-and-trade, and many others coming down the political pike are destined to raise taxes even for the middle class (broken promise), will expand all aspects of government, and jeopardize many of the freedoms we, the people enjoy today. It looks like hope and change is morphing into government control and debt.
Lawyers for Terrorists
With recent cases like the White House party crashers, the Fort Hood shootings, and the Christmas underwear bomber, it seems that we have an administration that has trouble keeping the White House secure and connecting the intelligence dots. What is frustrating to many Americans is their attitude toward terrorists and how they are handled. I am personally against any type of torture, including water boarding, because our respect for humanity is what separates us from the evil we are fighting. However, treating terrorists like common criminals and giving them a lawyer, doesn't make sense. Part of the rationalization floating around for this decision is "Bush did it." If Bush jumped off a building would they follow? Speaking of Bush, that brings me to my final point.
The blame Bush game, which President Obama and the Democrats, with the support of the left-wing media, have used to escape or deflect culpability, has gone on long enough, tiring even non-Bush supporters. Did they get the memo that Bush is not the president anymore? Even a day after Brown won the Senate seat in Massachusetts and in an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, President Obama gave his assessment of the vote and the mood around the county, "People are angry and they're frustrated, not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years."
Why are the people angry and frustrated? Only time will reveal why and what it really means in the political arena, but for now it looks as if some just don’t get it. And as one voice of the people, an average American voting citizen, may I remind those at the White House and on Capital Hill that, "pride goeth before a fall."
Dems Like Howard Dean Just Don’t Get It
Opinion in Politics — by Christine Lakatos — on Jan 24, 2010